NATIONAL NEWS: SCOTUS Reverses Alabama Court Ruling on Lesbian Adopting Parent

Plus: ‘No Gay Thursday’ teammates arrested in West Chester and Lyft issues public apology for transphobic driver.

By Daderot - Own work, Public Domain,

By Daderot, Public Domain.

The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Alabama Supreme Court ruling that took away a lesbian mother’s adoption rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a lesbian woman who lost her rights to her adoptive children when she and her same-sex partner broke up. Last year, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the unnamed plaintiff (only referred to as “V.L.” in court documents) should lose her parental adoptive rights because the initial residing state of the couple had no right to grant them to begin with. “V.L.” is not the natural birth mother, but had gotten adoptive parental rights in Georgia. The lesbian couple — who never got legally married — broke up, and her same-sex partner, who is the birth mother (and is only referenced as “E.L.” in court documents) won the Alabama Supreme Court case taking away V.L.’s parental rights as the adoptive mother. Last December, the U.S. Supreme Court set aside the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision and temporarily granted V.L.’s parental rights while it contemplated whether to hear the case or not. On Monday morning, the Supreme Court finally issued a ruling that reversed the Alabama decision and is already being considered a major LGBT court ruling that has officially addressed the hardships of gay and lesbian adoption.

Three Chester County high school football players are charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy with a broomstick.

Three 17-year-old students at Conestoga High School are being charged for sexually assaulting a 14-year old boy with a broom handle. The incident allegedly occurred on October 15, 2015, as part of a homophobic ritual the senior football team has upheld known as “No Gay Thursdays.” This situation apparently occurred when underclassmen were ordered to clean the team’s locker room wearing only their underwear. When the 14-year old refused to go any further with the demands, he claims he was assaulted. District Attorney Tom Hogan told the press that “it just happened to be a perfect storm of this ‘No Gay Thursday’ tradition and them not liking this freshman and taking it out on him in a pretty horrible way.” Pennsylvania law currently considers this form of hazing criminal on college campuses, but does not specify such legality at the high school level. The three alleged upperclassmen were charged as juveniles with unlawful restraint, conspiracy, assault and terroristic threats. This potential hate crime has rapidly garnered numerous national headlines questioning homophobia in sports, youth, and schools.

Lyft issues public apology to transgender activist Monica Jones after she discovered that a driver was exposing her identity online.

Lyft issued a public apology to Monica Jones last week after she encountered transphobic remarks made about her from a driver on Facebook. Jones, a nationally known transgender activist, was headed to a Phoenix bar last Friday when she was notified by a friend that her driver had sent out a “word of caution” about her in a Lyft Driver Facebook group page. The driver also revealed her transgender identity, name and the location she was dropped off. Jones immediately filed a complaint and received an apology and refund from Lyft. The company issued a statement to the media about the situation stating that “Lyft does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community. The driver’s behavior is unacceptable and a clear violation of our anti-discrimination policy. His access to Lyft been permanently removed.” Jones has expressed to the media that she wants more to be done by Lyft in stating, “It’s important to illustrate that Lyft should have examined this driver just by checking his Facebook profile,” she says. “A quick look at this driver’s Facebook profile is all it takes to see he’s a transphobe. He is mocking trans women, like Caitlyn Jenner, and if he’s attacking her, of course he’s going to come after me, a trans woman of color.” Such sentiments should be taken into consideration given the rising annual transgender attacks in recent years and the degree to which ride-sharing services’ safety measures have been called into question.